Recently, I made the near fatal mistake of eating at a Cracker Barrel. “Wait Jon, I thought you loved Cracker Barrel?” is what you’re probably thinking. Or you’re thinking, “How arrogant do you have to be to believe that, with 200 million blogs online, people remember your feelings about country theme-styled restaurants.
But the restaurant wasn’t the mistake. The time we went was.
Sunday afternoon, after church, in the South. (Bowling Green, Kentucky to be precise.)
And as we surveyed the crowd of people crammed tightly into rocking chairs on the porch, I felt a need to write a few letters to a few groups of people. Which is what I now will proceed to do:
I’m sorry. At some point, you’ve thought to yourself, “I would like some afternoon lunch right now, and I live in the Southeast. Why don’t I casually go get some vittles on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, which is not the Sabbath but just a normal day?” That’s a fine thought to have. I applaud you’re use of the word “vittles.” But, when you tried to enjoy a leisurely lunch, you were met with a bajillion church attendees. Cracker Barrel, PF Chang’s, Macaroni Grill, suddenly there’s a line out the door. Sorry about that. That’s us, lots and lots of us. Our bad. Church gets out at around noon. Might I suggest an early morning brunch? Somewhere that specializes in mimosas will help keep the church traffic down.
I hope you’ll tell me that Sunday lunch is the best shift of the whole week because the people who come in are such good tippers, but I have my doubts. I have my doubts. Please just tell me you’ve never been tipped with a tract. I think Jesus himself would have frowned upon that move. He might have even made a whip in the Cracker Barrel parking lot.
I love that you’re closed on Sundays. I support you wholeheartedly. But, dang, you are like some sort of chicken temptress on Sunday afternoons. How come I’m so stupid on Saturdays and don’t come see you when you’re open? Why do I completely act surprised every time I drive into your parking lot after church only to find you closed? I get so excited at first because the line looks really short, only to be crushed against the harsh rocks of chicken denial.
I grew up in your beautiful commonwealth, but you, much like me, have no idea how easy it is to dine on Sunday. Please, for every churchgoer that is waiting an hour for Shoney’s in the south, go out to lunch in Boston. Don’t take your sweet, sweet non-existent lunch lines for granted .
Dear parties of 30,
Seriously? Your whole Sunday School class had to all come and be seated as one group? How big around is this table that you’re expecting Cracker Barrel to have? Treebeard would have to roll that thing out of some special closet. And he’d be furious by the time he got there because it’d be made of wood or as he says, “A fallen brother.” Probably kill you when the hostess called your name, if I had to guess. So what I’m trying to say is throw a picnic somewhere for your class, unless you’re OK with being murdered by a mythological/ecological tree-man at a restaurant.
I feel better already. But, to tell you the truth, there’s more I could write. And I would, but they just now called our name at the Cracker Barrel in Bowling Green. Took two weeks to get in, but pancakes are worth it. Pancakes are always worth it.
Do you ever go out to eat after church?